Latest Earth & Beyond update details

A new pirate sector is among the additions being made to Electronic Arts' online space RPG in its latest update.

Electronic Arts has today released details on its latest update for the online space RPG Earth & Beyond. The update includes a number of improvements to the game's analysis and manufacturing systems, but by far the most significant addition to the game is the introduction of an all-new pirate sector for players to explore.

"Players who gain favor with the pirate faction will have free access to pirate space, which is full of new loot and provides plenty to hunt," said creative director Chris Klug. "Players will get a chance to see what life is like on the wrong side of the galactic law. Occasionally, at least in Blackbeard's Wake, crime does pay."

Blackbeard's Wake features a new starbase, new enemies to fight, and a new epic encounter with an artificial intelligence known simply as The Controller. The AI originally worked for the Red Dragon pirates, creating training drones, but as it evolved and became sentient, it turned on its former masters and now creates powerful combat drones that attack Red Dragon pirates on site. Players have the option to assist the pirates in their battle with The Controller, but they're warned that doing so will not be an easy task.

"Our goal was to force players to use different tactics than they've ever had to use before," Klug said. "The Controller is smart and commands his drones to attack and defend in a variety of ways. Players who come in blasting without a solid plan will find themselves incapacitated quite quickly."

For more information on Earth & Beyond, which was released in September 2002, check out our previous coverage of the game.

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